5 Lead Generation Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten

Demand Generation


Let’s take it back to the old school–elementary school.

Demand generation marketers spend their careers building out complex lead acquisition and engagement engines, but sometimes it’s good to take it back to the basics—way back–as in, back to the things we learned in kindergarten that still hold true in today’s marketing landscape.

Just as the ABCs are fundamental to reading and writing, some of the basics like data, content, and segmentation are key to your lead generation programs. Chances are, with all the lead-gen pressures we face, it might be tempting to push best practices aside–which is why it’s important to review some elementary teachings that you’ve most likely forgotten along the way. Take a look at these five lessons below that you should apply to your lead generation efforts

1. Use Your Inside Voice

No one wants to do business with a marketing loudmouth. Your customer doesn’t want to feel like you are mass marketing to them, but that you are engaging with them in a 1 on 1 conversation. You should strive to personalize your messaging when possible by segmenting your database out into personas. This will allow you to be more strategic in catering to each of your audiences, understand the customer that you are trying to attract, and relate to them as human beings.

2. Hand-Raisers Are Encouraged

What’s better than a cold lead? A warm one! And this answer rings true for both marketing and sales. A “hand-raiser” is a warm lead, someone that identifies themselves as a prospective customer by opting to share their information with your company, usually with the understanding that they will be contacted. To increase your conversion rates, you should review your calls-to-action (CTAs) to make sure there is a clear value proposition and people know exactly what will happen after they click. Optimize your CTAs by testing out different creatives (design and copy) to find a winning creative that is both eye-catching and compelling. This can be done by A/B testing both your email and landing page content. Also, be sure to account for the audience personas you built out. While one CTA might perform well for one segment, it’s possible it can cause friction for another.

3. Walk, Don’t Run

Just as kids tend to get excited and want to run from point A to point B, marketers can have similar reactions with wanting to convert a newly acquired lead to a sale. Jumping into a hard sell too quickly is only going to push your prospective customers to want to make a run for it themselves, away from you! So map out a lead nurturing process to develop a relationship with your prospects and walk with them through their buyers’ journey. If you start off with smaller asks, like watching a video, attending an event, or signing up for a newsletter, you can create a pattern of behavior that makes it easy for your prospect to follow through with the final CTA, the sale. It’s all about the baby steps!

4. Clean Up

This is one task that kids and marketers alike are inclined to put off, which never really does anyone any good. Your database is one of your organization’s most valuable assets. However, its value can quickly diminish if you don’t keep it clean. In order for your data to be actionable, it needs to be accurate and up-to-date, or it will cost you both time and money. In fact, neglecting to clean up your database can cost your company as much as 10-25% in revenue, according to information governance expert Larry English. Scary, huh!? Scrub dirty data from the start and standardize the data that comes into your system as often as possible. Make sure you validate email addresses at least once a year to get rid of inactive accounts that are most likely skewing your metrics and remove duplicate leads to get a clear picture of your audience size.

5. Treat Others as You Want to Be Treated

We all know this “golden rule,” and it’s named that for good reason. It should be carried with us from kindergarten throughout our lives and into our careers. Remember that you are marketing to people, so put yourself in your customers’ shoes as you think through the engagement process. Are you emailing them too often? Are you providing appropriate content and offers? Are you helping them connect the dots on why they should buy from you? If you only think of things from your own perspective, you are most likely going to have a hard time growing and maintaining your customer base.

As we kick off the New Year, now is the perfect time to reinstate those maybe forgotten best practices back into you lead generation plan. Are there any other lessons you think we need remind ourselves of from time to time? If so, please share in the comments section below.